Tag Archives: loss

Pondering Eternity

chick eternityI once heard that eternity can be understood by shutting yourself into a very small room and then imagining the remainder of the universe outside your door, and that’s only the beginning. Eternity is something we give little thought to in the day to days of life until something or someone causes us to ponder and desire to have a taste ourselves. The internet is filled with $1.99 wisdom on the subject and Satan and his doomsday tribe would love for you to buy it; ideas like reincarnation, soul sleep, deep self, or the end of existence. Because it brings you face to face with the reality of the means of passing to eternity most people don’t dwell much on the notion until life or death forces them to.

In my small world I’ve been dealing with it a little more than usual lately. A good friend’s funeral is tomorrow where I’ll say goodbye to his earthly body. A local family lost a child yesterday, a friend of some of my Sunday School students. It causes questions from the young and old alike as to why God would allow that to happen. How do we explain it to a child who barely understands the death of an older person but now has to cope with the loss of someone their own age? How do we explain it to us? It’s tragedy, plain and simple. But in pondering those why’s I have been dwelling more on the where. There is no peace in the loss of someone we love, but there’s a bountiful supply in understanding God’s plan of reunion.

When David lost his son as told in 2 Samuel 12 he told his servants in verses  22-23 “While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether God will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” David had not read the $1.99 internet wisdom. He had only read the Word of God, the truth on all matters of life. The truth on life and death is that this is not the end… this is the middle, and the end never ends… oh glory!!! That causes my heart to leap with joy when I think about all those people that I have loved and had to say goodbye to. There is coming a day when we shall reunite for all eternity and there will be no more farewells, only “Stop by again!” Open ended invitations of lovin’ on each other.

Today, I don’t want to think about what I lost, I want to think about what they found.

They found what God Prepared

1 Corinthians 2:9 ~ But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

They found a Place Designed just for them

And not just any place, but a mansion!

John 14:2 ~ In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

They found Paradise (Better than any postcard scene)

Luke 23:43 ~ And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.

They found the Power Company! The source of all.

Revelation 21:21-25

And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.  And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.  And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.

And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.

That is worthy of pondering. But before we get there we have to ask ourselves one question, “Just as the thief on the cross seen paradise by accepting Christ’s death as payment for his sin, have you done so likewise? Don’t miss your reunion day. Jesus told us “John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

That is the key that unlocks your story…

Empty Satan’s Pockets

 

Acts 16:14-20

“And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.  And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.  And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour. And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers, And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city,”

There is great financial gain in many avenues of life, some in sin and some in labor; both have one often common characteristic… distraction. There were two such women in the book of Acts 16 and both have a story of financial freedom. Lydia, merchant in the city of Thyatira was “all that and a bag of chips” as the saying goes, she worshipped God and was a successful woman in the textile industry. And then came Paul! and all of a sudden it was no longer about selling purple fabric but about serving Christ. It’s an oddity to the world how a person can walk away from what they view as success and begin serving the Lord. Lydia’s finances had no doubt brought her freedoms that few women in that era would have been afforded; but her focus changed when the Lord opened her heart to see what great freedom serving Christ brought. Lydia experienced the greatest freedom any woman could have… the freedom that seeing your family serve Christ and the knowledge that come what may, their souls are in the hands of the Master.

And then there was the woman without a name, who through her demon possession was taken advantage of and used as money making scheme by wicked men. Men who were VERY upset, when at Paul’s command in the name of Jesus de-demonized her and she experienced the freedom of deliverance from the financial bondage those men had over her life. On both ends of the spectrum, from the poverty to powerful the same holds true with regards to money… If you’re not using what you have for the glory of God, then you’ll not receive the full blessing of it. When Lydia opened her heart to the things of God, it didn’t say she stopped selling purple, but I have a feeling her purple peddling priorities changed. When the lady possessed with the demon was healed her words that had once distracted those delivering the gospel now focused those who witnessed her healing onto the glory of God!

Luke 16:13 says that “No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”

I’m getting a firmer grasp on that… unfocused finances are a distraction. Lydia opened up her home and began focusing her financial gain on the things of the Lord and she her household were baptized. Wow. The unnamed lady was no longer a tool in the hands of the Devil but was now a weapon in the warfare, and people were angry. Can I tell you if you’re finances are serving Satan, there’s going to be some unhappy people when you stop. But oh the gain! What about your finances? Are they Christ focused or world centered? Are you asking God what He wants you to do with your gain? Are you allowing your finances to be used in non-glorifying ways? Heavy questions, but worth pondering.